What should you do when a loved one dies? (in no particular order:)
a. Obtain an original Death Certificate
b. Check for the original Will (look in a safe or safe deposit box, or check with their estate planning attorney, if any)
c. Check for pre-paid funeral home/cremation services
d. Contact Funeral Home/Crematorium to set-up burial/cremation and services
e. Notify relatives, friends, neighbors, employer, and co-workers
f. Look for insurance polices and Notify Insurance companies (check near locations where Will was kept).
g. Notify Banks and Credit Unions of death for checking, savings, CD’s, etc. (accounts may have a beneficiary attached to each)
h. Cancel automatic debits/withdrawals from accounts.
i. Call and cancel credit cards
j. Apply for any Veteran benefits if decedent qualifies:
i. Social Security Survivors Benefits
ii. Veteran’s Burial, including America Flag
iii. Veteran’s Survivors Benefits
vi. Pension Benefits
v. Workmen’s Compensation Benefits
vi. Civil Service/Railroad Retirement Benefits
k. Notify Landlord or Mortgage Company
l. Contact a Probate Attorney to begin the Probate process (if no probate is necessary, file Original Will in county court probate division within 10 days of death)
m. Obtain deeds and titles to real estate and vehicles owned by the decedent.
2. How Do Yo
u Start the Probate Process?
a. Obtain original copies of the decedent death certificate
b. You go to your County Probate Court
c. File the appropriate probate documents (there are several kinds of forms, and each county have different requirements for filing)
d. Pay the court fees
e. Depending on the type of probate, you may have to notify all interested parties about the court proceedings.
f. Publish notice and initiate the creditors period.
g. Take the oath and await letter of administration from Probate Court (assuming no one contests)
3. What should I bring to the meeting?
a. Two Death Certificates (short form without the cause of death)
b. A Marriage Certificate if the decedent was your spouse
c. Copies of deeds to real property owned by the decedent,
d. Names, address and social security numbers of decedent’s children/beneficiaries
e. Original or copy of the decedent’s will and/or trust
f. Copies of all bills sent to the decedent since the date of death
g. Copy of paid funeral bill.Two most recent monthly bank statements from all Decedent’s bank accounts9.Two most recent monthly credit card statements from all Decedent’s credit cards10.Decedent’s checkbook register or a copy of the entire register11.Copies of all asset/investment/brokerage account statements